Stepping over the line

Paul Rudan’s column last Friday was the most disturbing piece of anti-union rhetoric I have ever read

Paul Rudan’s column last Friday was the most disturbing piece of anti-union rhetoric I have ever read.

People who beat their dogs are committing a violent criminal offence. To compare what teachers are doing to try and save our crumbling public education system to a violent criminal act is stepping way over any imaginable line. The two anti-­union Mirror columnists, Rudan and Tom Fletcher, make quite the tag team.

The conversations I have had with teachers and parents regarding extra-­curricular activities are the toughest conversations I’ve had as a union rep, but teachers are fighting for the basics – the conditions in the classroom during the school day. It is unfortunate and disappointing to everyone when an activity such as a camping trip is cancelled.

However, teachers are not fighting for guaranteed camping trips or guaranteed sports tournaments. If those students who are disappointed now can have decent class sizes, support services, and resources to succeed in their future years in our public schools, then these small disappointments now will be a worthwhile price to be paid.

When a teacher decides not to participate in an extra curricular activity, and if that leads to cancellation, then kids, parents and the teacher are all “disappointed.” However, teachers see a much bigger picture on a daily basis.

Students and teachers will be “hurt” by the legislation that we are fighting against now, as they have been by the many pieces of destructive legislation that have crippled the public school system over the last decade.

Students have been losing out more every year, long before teacher job action, and long before teachers made decisions to withdraw their voluntary contributions to a disintegrating school system.

Teachers are the only ones who have consistently spoken out, and we have held the pieces of the system together with the glue of our compassion for our students.

The government is the entity that has been doing the metaphoric beating, as teachers try to fight for our students, for our constitutional rights, and for the protection of the teaching profession in B.C.

I wish my precious dog was still alive so I could go home and give him a hug and take him for a walk.

Elaine Thompson,

President, Campbell River District Teachers’ Association